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Norway and the European Space Agency

Norway became a full member of the European Space Agency ESA in 1987. 

ESA´s headquarters in Paris.

ESA's headquarters in Paris.

Photo: ESA/A. Gonin

Since joining ESA Norway has participated in most of ESA's programs, from Earth Observation to manned exploration of space, development of new launch systems, and more.

Norway has prioritized those ESA programs that have the applied use of space as focus. But Norway is also an active participant in ESA's science program. Here, Norwegian researchers have excelled in astrophysics, solar research, lightning science and various scientific projects carried out on the International Space Station.

In the 1980s, the Norwegian Space Agency was established to manage Norway's relationship with ESA. The Norwegian delegates to ESA's various science program committees are employees of the Norwegian Space Agency.

In 1986, Norway joined the European Organisation for Weather Satellites, Eumetsat, which is a seperate organisation. Weather satellites have always been very important for Norway, because in our climatedemands accurate and regularly updated weather forecasts.

Through the membership in ESA and Eumetsat, Norwegian industry can compete for contracts for these organizations’ satellites and projects.